Prayer concerns a relationship with God and reflects His active choice to communicate with us. Communicating with God involves our thoughts, words and gestures as we reach beyond our earthly limitations toward His transcendence. In short, prayer helps us to experience God in all of His fullness. Furthermore, practicing daily prayer and Bible reading is like having two arms that reach longingly toward the heavenly Father. Such a “praying person” receives God’s loving embrace as He answers through prayer and the Scripture.
George Müller learned that “the safe guide in every crisis is believing prayer in connection with the Word of God.” Müller discovered that the power for spiritual empowerment lay in Bible reading and that once his soul was filled with God’s Word, he was able to test his daily walk with the principles from God’s Word. What was true of a crisis in his life was true in every detail of his life. He literally walked throughout his day with scripture and prayer on his lips.
Like Müller, we also recognize the value of prayer and study of the scripture as two core inward spiritual disciplines that we practice in order to comprehend and to apply the will of God. Yet, his attitude in such prayer informs me. He seemed to pray always with his entire soul opened before God. I believe “praying the scripture” includes a vital attitudinal difference; namely, that something more is longed for in my inner person. Praying the scripture refers more to being than to doing and the application of the scripture’s “two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12) with prayer implies that I long for the Spirit’s moral activity to be operative within my heart in dramatic ways. The result of this attitude of prayer provides me with a holistic approach where my entire being is linked to God in Christian communication.
Lord, so often I have neglected Your word in favor of other pursuits. Help me to employ the “two-edged sword” as I pray, having an attitude of prayer that flows from Your heart. Allow me to walk through any storm, struggle or situation standing firmly upon Your promises and precepts. May I discover, as Müller did, the spiritual empowerment for everyday life that comes from prayer that is embedded in Your word.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 27, The Use of Scripture in Personal Prayer by Larry Ashlock). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise your faithful God! Give thanks for God’s faithfulness to you even when you are unfaithful to him (2 Tim. 2:11-13). Spend a few minutes asking God to help you think through your life and confessing any unfaithfulness he brings to your attention. Commit yourself as God’s image-bearer to reflecting his faithfulness in your own.
Pray that Christians will be faithful to use individual and corporate outreach opportunities. Ask for the vision to see opportunities and the loving determination to follow through.